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KTM to incorporate Red Bull F1 engineers to its 2023 MotoGP team

KTM CEO Stefan Pierer says he will bring in engineers from Red Bull’s Formula 1 team to help the Austrian marque in MotoGP in 2023.

Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

KTM made its debut in MotoGP in 2017 with a factory entry before expanding to a satellite structure in partnership with Tech3 from the 2019 campaign.

In its six seasons in the premier class, KTM has scored six victories between Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder.

But KTM still languishes behind its European rivals in Ducati and Aprilia currently in MotoGP, with the latter coming on massively over the last two seasons with its RS-GP.

Aprilia’s success has been driven largely by the arrival of CEO Massimo Rivola in 2019, who – having previously served as sporting director at Ferrari in F1, as well as holding roles with Toro Rosso and Minardi – shaped his team by hiring talent from F1.

In particular, Rivola installed F1 engineers to help with the development of MotoGP’s key technical battleground in aerodynamics and tyre degradation.

Currently, Aprilia sits third in the constructors’ standings behind Yamaha and is second in the riders’ championship with Aleix Espargaro on 168 points while KTM’s leading runner is seventh-placed Brad Binder on 107 points.

KTM chief Pierer has been impressed by Aprilia’s approach and plans to follow suit by utilising the Austrian brand’s close links to energy drinks giant Red Bull from 2023.

Stefan Pierer, CEO KTM Group

Stefan Pierer, CEO KTM Group

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“Aprilia incorporated F1 experience,” Pierer told Autosport.

“The new boss [Rivola] is very smart; I like him a lot. He came from F1 and brought with him a lot of experience at the aerodynamics level.

“I am very happy that in 2022 there will be three European manufacturers against two Japanese, given that Suzuki is leaving.

“I love that there will be competition between the European manufacturers. I like to beat the Japanese brands, it's as simple as that.

"Next year we are going to increase our commitment to staff coming from F1.

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“Luckily, we have a long-standing relationship with Red Bull, which is a winning team, so we know which door to knock on.

“Red Bull has hundreds of aerodynamics technicians with a lot of experience. That will be one of the keys in 2023.”

Red Bull is currently dominating the 2022 F1 season with reigning world champion Max Verstappen, whose recent Belgian Grand Prix victory has put him 93 points clear of team-mate Sergio Perez in the standings.

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